Upon her retirement as CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works! Edythe “Edee” Copeland passes the baton to Carrie Rosingana. 517 Magazine spoke with both of them to get their perspectives on CAMW!
Why does CAMW! Play such an important role in the community?
Copeland: Capital Area Michigan Works! is vital to the community as it is the connector for businesses and job seekers in the capital region. CAMW! also serves as a convener for community, stakeholders who are dedicated to making our region the desired place to live, work and play.
For many small businesses, we serve as their human resource departments. For job seekers, we provide them with a place to create resumes and cover letters, participate in mock interviews with actual employers, attend workshops free of charge to help them gain knowledge or skills, and connect them with community partners to help remove barriers that might prevent them from getting a job. All of this is done out of a “one-stop” location.
As you pass the baton to Carrie, what do you hope her greatest achievement will be?
Copeland: I hope Carrie surpasses the vision she will set for CAMW!. Carrie will be a phenomenal CEO as she is intuitive and a visionary leader. She’s approachable and an excellent listener. She has the ability to bring folks to a consensus without realizing what she’s done.
What is your biggest takeaway from having increased understanding of CAMW! over the years?
Copeland: With all of the outreach we have done at CAMW!, I’m still amazed people don’t fully understand how CAMW! can be of assistance. Folks still think we are the unemployment agency, or we only serve low-income individuals. While we are not the unemployment agency, we are the re-employment agency.
We serve all individuals. As for businesses, we do our best to help them regardless of their size or their needs. That’s my biggest takeaway.
Carrie, what is your first goal in your new role?
Rosingana: My first goal as incoming CEO is to take time to meet with each of CAMW!’s current board members, staff and regional partners. Given the current impact of COVID-19, these meetings may need to be held virtually, but I strongly believe that relationship building is key to the strength of CAMW!. It’s important to me to first listen to gain a better understanding of what has worked well for CAMW! to date, and to then determine where there are opportunities to strategically innovate and collaborate in the future.
What is your advice to businesses and job seekers impacted by COVID-19?
Rosingana: My advice to both businesses and job seekers impacted by COVID-19 is to maintain flexibility and patience. There are so many variables at play for everyone during these unprecedented times, and it’s important to remember that we’re truly all learning together as we adapt to the current circumstances.
It’s more critical than ever to lean on the resources that are available for your own circumstances. It’s OK to ask for help as you’re navigating the next steps, whether you’re a business owner, employee or job seeker.